How to write the best SOP for Canada universities:
So many students aspire to study in Canadian universities. They work hard with their academic performance but don’t know the importance of an SOP. SOP stands for Statement of Purpose. When you post an application in a university, they ask you to write an effective SOP.
Through SOP, you can talk about your goals and aspirations in the right way to help a university understand why you can fit in, as one of their students. So what exactly is SOP?
What is SOP?
SOP can be defined as a statement of research or a letter of intent, that is intended for the admission panel to read. It conveys your aspirations about the career path you intend to take, the list of your interests, professional contributions, goals, and more.
It also defines the force that drives you to pursue that specific career. An SOP can be submitted in the form of an essay. But certain universities also prefer question and answer format. The way you write an SOP determines your admission in the institution of your preference.
The purpose behind writing an SOP:
An SOP can turn out to be a decision maker in your career path, if it is nicely written and framed. With a correctly written SOP, the admission committee can analyze and assess the way you approach your life, career goals and the paths you take to fulfil them.
Long story cut short, SOP defines your overall personality and long term vision when it comes to your goals. Writing an SOP lets you pitch your purpose to the university’s admission panel and reasons as to why they should let you secure admission in their university.
If you are a student with a weak academic background, then a good SOP can strongly define your future goals, career aspirations and the ways you can achieve them. Also, you get a chance to showcase your writing skills and this can make you stand out and let them see why they should choose your profile over other applicants.
Components of a perfectly written SOP:
A perfectly written SOP is said so because it contains following elements that have been well defined:
- Personal background
- Financial background
- Short term and long term goals
- Academic information, interests and hobbies
- Work Experience (It includes part time as well as full time jobs)
- Reasons why you want to study in the university abroad
- Reasons why you are interested in the said field
- List of extra curricular activities
- List of published works
- List of submitted papers.
Keys to writing a winning SOP:
Writing an SOP is all about including all the relevant information without it looking like you are talking gibberish. Here, I enlist five essential steps to writing an SOP that helps you secure the admission in the university of your choosing:
1. Determine the list of the things you wish to include in an SOP:
A statement of purpose is a document with a lot of details and information. And it can turn out to be a much longer document than you anticipated. But before you begin writing, you need to determine the list of things you would like to include.
An SOP lets the admission panel understand your academic journey until this moment along with your goals, vision and career aspirations. You can include as many things as you like. But, the word of caution here, is to include only those things that stand in relevance with the purpose behind the admission.
To aid this process, take a paper and list out all the things you would like highlighted in your SOP. This list should include your short term goals, long term goals, and the life events that have happened so far.
At this step, you need to write everything down first to see how your life has been so far without giving much attention. Because, eventually by the time you reach the last step, all the irrelevant information would be eliminated.
2. Determine the theme of your SOP:
The SOP should follow a certain theme. This means that you are required to focus and concentrate on one thought process. It is natural for you to want to write down and tell them everything. But, the key here is, to decide in which direction you want your SOP to move.
Your SOP should define how you want to achieve a goal in the future and why specifically you want to achieve that goal. Write down your life story and which incident according to you, changes the course of your story? Or for instance, which event made you think about the goal you are talking about here?
Because of certain events, you were motivated to pursue your career as a writer, or a techie. As you find this out, you define the theme of your SOP. And the theme helps you find the direction in which the SOP should progress.
3. Edit the list and remove irrelevant information:
Once you have written down everything and have found the theme, it is now time to read everything that you have written so far. This also means that you clear up the list of irrelevant things and organize the important information in a nice way.
To do this, take out a red pen and strike the things out that don’t seem to be in tandem with the theme of your SOP. As you reach this step, it is important for you to understand what should and should not go within an SOP.
Here, you also see that an SOP for a student aspiring a course in mechanical engineering is different from a SOP of a student looking to pursue a degree in MBA. In addition to this, the SOP for an under graduation course differs from the SOP for a post graduation course.
Hence, define the course you want to be admitted in and write the SOP accordingly.
4. Run a good amount of research on the course and the university:
By this time, you must have acquired a lot of information and details about the university and the course you want to apply for. But at this stage, you should determine everything about the culture at the university, the alumni and more.
Once you gather all the said information, you can define how those can be contributing factors for the success of your goals and the path you have chosen. If you are going to apply for a research based program, it is imperative to mention the faculty names and the ongoing projects.
Doing this can give you a competitive edge over other applicants and to the admission committee, it looks like you ran a good amount of research. An indepth research about the course you want to study, is offered a significant consideration in the foreign universities.
5. Write, edit and then write again:
This is a no-brainer and a self explanatory step. Whatever you write, even if it is not an SOP, needs to be edited and proofread once the writing part is over. Hence, you should never submit the first draft that you have written to the university. This is because the chances are, it may have to face a rejection.
It is important to proofread it once if not twice or thrice. Yet, one time editing and proofreading is crucial for you to successfully land up in the said university. This proofreading may not change the entire draft. But, it may let you check the punctuation, grammar and vocabulary issues it might have.
You should always ensure that your grammar, vocabulary and punctuation is of utmost importance. When you have enough time to submit the SOP, you should always remove all the errors.
Once, you are done editing, let it sit for a few days. Go through it again after a few days. As you do this, you may want to add or remove one or more parts of the SOP. Also, you may want to add some new details that you missed out writing when you were writing it on the first go. Thus, re-write your SOP and submit the final draft to the university.
Wrapping it up:
A statement of purpose is a very important part of application in a foreign university, specifically in Canada. SOP helps them understand who you are as a person, along with your academic background. Thus, never underestimate the power of a nicely written SOP.